Easy Croque Monsieur
Croque Monsieur, literally "To bite / crunch" and "Mister" in English, is a classic French snack which you will find in all traditional French bistros, brasseries and cafés. According to the researcher, Bruno Fuligni, who wrote the book Les gourmands mémorables (Éditions Prisma), the grilled French sandwich was born in a Parisian Café in the early in 1910 near the Paris Opera. Theatres and the Opera house were bringing a lot of hungry clients to the neighborhood and as the stock of crunchy baguettes was ending in Michel Lunarca's café, he decided to use sliced loaf bread and grill them with other ingredients to create some crunch to the sandwich.
Why this funny name? The owner of the Café, Michel Lunarca, had a fierce business reputation and his competitors apparently gave him the nickname of "Cannibal" hence the name of the sandwich "Bite/Crunch a man".
What is a croque monsieur? A croque monsieur is a grilled sandwich made of two slices of white loaf bread, ham, cheese and crème fraîche or béchamel. In this recipe, I will show you how to make the easy and quick version.
Video tutorial in the bottom of the page!
Preparation time: 2 minutes to assemble the sandwich, around 13 minutes in the oven.
Ingredients for one croque monsieur:
2 slices of sliced bread
1 large slice of ham (Pork)
2 table spoons of crème fraîche
2 table spoons of liquid cream
2 table spoons of shredded cheese (Emmental, Gruyère, Comté...)
2 large yet thin slices of cheese (Emmental, Gruyère, Comté...)
Black pepper, salt
Nutmeg powder (Optional)
Step 1 - Mix your cream filling and topping
In a bowl, mix your crème fraîche, shredded cheese, liquid cream and a generous pinch of salt and black pepper.
Step 2 - Assemble your croque monsieur
In that order!
Cover a slice of bread with a thin layer of your cream filling
Add a slice of cheese
Add your slice of ham
Add a slice of cheese
Add a thin layer of your cream filling
Cover with your last slice of bread
Top the sandwich with the rest of the cream and cheese mix
You can still add a pinch of black pepper and grated nutmeg on top of the cream
Step 3 - To the oven!
Preheat your oven at 200 C for at least 5 minutes.
Put your sandwich in for 10 minutes (still 200 C)
Finish off the croque monsieur and give it a nice color with a 2 to 3 minutes finishing grill at 250 C
Croque Monsieur goes really well with a simple lettuce and salad dressing, you can also serve it with a side of french fries or pickles.
Enjoy, bon appétit!